Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Storybook in Every Home

"A Storybook in Every Home" is the name of Heritage Makers' charitable donation program providing free storybooks for those in need.  It has two parts-- "Tucked In" for children in homeless shelters, and "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep" for families experiencing the death of an infant.  A storybook is a treasure to anyone, but these families especially treasure the priceless storybooks they receive through these programs.

You can get involved by donating your own publishing points (or cash, which Heritage Makers will MATCH at 100%!!), by creating the books themselves, or by nominating people to receive these free books.  There is so much good we can do, and so many hearts we can touch!  You can find out more information at the website:


Monday, January 9, 2012


A friend of mine posted this on Facebook.  Neither she nor I know the people mentioned here, but it could be anyone among us, and it poignantly describes why photos are indeed priceless.  It also describes why *I* do what I do--why I share Heritage Makers.  It's for all those people who take pictures and don't know what to do with them.  It's for all those people who would like to have time or an easier way to publish their pictures.  It's for all those people with a story to tell and a life to share.

A letter on my door step. portraits are more than paper.

There will be no portrait photos in this post.  This letter wasn’t mailed – it was at my doorstep when I got home a couple months ago.  I read it, I cried, and read it again – probably a hundred times by now.  It wasn’t easy to read – and honestly, as much as it validates what I do for a living – I wasn’t sure I was going to share it either – Until today, when a past client said that my print prices were too expensive.  If you choose to read through the letter, you will know why I’ve finally chosen to share it.
July 2nd, 2011
Jeanine - 
Today I am writing for a couple of reasons.  I have some quiet time at the moment and need to get a couple of things off my mind.  I will leave this for my husband to deliver to you when he is ready.
You photographed my wedding, you photographed my first pregnancy and my first baby.  I contacted you awhile back to photograph my 2nd child and family.  After getting prices and realizing I would want all of the pictures as we love your work – I decided against spending $500+ – which is what I normally spend for portraits and prints with you..  Please know it is not because I don’t value your amazing eye, or how much we love the experience.
That week that I decided to NOT do a session with you, this is how I spent some money.
On Sunday I called and cancelled our session.  Monday I went out and got my hair cut ($39+tip), and colored ($65), Thursday I had my nails done ($24), my family went out to dinner at a somewhat expensive restaurant for no particular reason costing us $79 + tip.  This was just 4 days since canceling our session, already totaling over $200 for un necessary things.  My nails only lasted about 2 weeks, my hair is gone, and seven weeks passed when I got the phone call from our doctor.  It was not something I expected and the cancer has spread very quickly.  I will be leaving my husband, my 6 year old girl and my now 2 year old – not by choice.  It is very hard for me to talk about it which is why I need to write you.
I watch your Facebook page and your posts about the value of a photo and if I could give back all of those things that I purchased this few weeks after I cancelled my session with you, knowing what I know now, and have that session, well… I would do it in a heartbeat. 
Now my time is done and there are no more chances for me.  The next time someone cancels a session – my wish is that you forward this letter to them.  Time is fragile, it is gone before you know you had it.  If you charged $200 for one print it wouldn’t be enough for what it is actually worth.  I cringe to think that my priorities were a manicure over a memory to pass onto my babies and husband.
My love and thanks for what you have given us from past photos.  I am so sorry that I did not see it as more than paper until now.
Karen L.

Original post at http://fototails.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/a-letter-on-my-doorstep-portraits-are-more-than-paper/